Must-see attractions in Bulgaria

  • Troyan Monastery

    Bulgaria

    Bulgaria's third-largest monastery showcases vivid, apocalyptic murals within its serene walls. Beaten in size only by Rila and Bachkovo, this monastery,…

  • Sofia History Museum

    Sofia

    The history of Sofia is presented on two floors of the magnificent former Turkish Mineral Baths, just behind the mosque. Exhibitions are divided…

  • Ancient Serdica Complex

    Sofia

    This remarkable, partly covered excavation site, situated just above the Serdika metro station, displays the remains of the Roman city, Serdica, that once…

  • Sveti Nikolai Russian Church

    Sofia

    This beautiful church with glittering mosaic exterior and golden domes was completed in 1914 for Sofia’s Russian community, and named in honour of St…

  • Sveta Petka Samardzhiiska Church

    Sofia

    This tiny church, located in the centre of the Serdika metro complex, was built during the early years of Ottoman rule (late 14th century), which explains…

  • National Museum of Natural History

    Sofia

    You can almost sense the ghosts of generations of school parties dutifully trooping through the musty halls of Bulgaria's oldest museum, founded in 1889…

  • Rozhen Monastery

    Pirin Mountains

    Standing serenely in the hills 7km north of Melnik, this working monastery has admirable 16th-century frescoes and a holy icon of the Virgin Mary. Its…

  • Nikopolis-ad-Istrum

    Bulgaria

    The broken remains of a Roman 'victory city', built in AD 110, cover this isolated site, 20km north of Veliko Târnovo. Nikopolis-ad-Istrum's foundations…

  • Madara Archaeological Reserve

    Bulgaria

    The carved figure of a horseback warrior, spearing a lion while his dog trots behind, is this archaeological reserve's highlight. The Madara Horseman …

  • Kaliakra Nature Reserve

    Black Sea Coast

    This 687-hectare reserve covers nearly the whole of Kaliakra Cape, a 2km-long headland that juts into the Black Sea 13km southeast of Kavarna. Visitors…

  • Ropotamo Nature Reserve

    Black Sea Coast

    This nature reserve is located 10km south of Sozopol, along the main road to Primorsko. Visitors can hike or picnic, but most come for a 30- to 40-minute…

  • Thracian Tomb of Kazanlâk

    Bulgaria

    In hilly Tyulbe Park, a 15-minute walk northeast of Kazanlâk's centre, stands one of the archaeological finds of the 20th century: a brilliantly frescoed,…

  • Preobrazhenski Monastery

    Bulgaria

    Outstanding clifftop views compete with murals by renowned painter Zahari Zograf at this serene monastery, 7km north of Veliko Târnovo. It was officially…

  • Kordopulov House

    Pirin Mountains

    Bulgaria's largest Revival-era building, this whitewashed and wooden mansion beams down from a cliff face at the eastern end of Melnik's main road. Dating…

  • Aladzha Monastery

    Black Sea Coast

    Little is known about this bizarre rock monastery; the caves were first inhabited by 11th-century hermits, but what remains today was created during the…

  • Ostrusha Thracian Tomb

    Bulgaria

    Discovered in 1993, the sarcophagus within this whopping Thracian burial mound was carved from a single 60-tonne stone during the 4th century BC. The site…

  • Chateau Euxinograde

    Black Sea Coast

    Located about 2km south of Sveti Konstantin, along the main road to Varna, the 90-hectare Euxinograde complex boasts a 19th-century palace featuring…

  • Ivanovo Rock Monastery

    Bulgaria

    This nonworking monastery, a Unesco World Heritage site, is situated in a cave about 40m above ground at an isolated spot 4km from the village of Ivanovo…

  • Freedom Monument

    Bulgaria

    About 13km along a winding road north of Shipka village is the Shipka Pass. Almost 1000 steps lead to the top of Mt Stoletov (1326m), dominated by the…

  • Museum of Folk Craft & Applied Arts

    Bulgaria

    One of Bulgaria's most engaging folk-art attractions, this museum displays a colourful range of traditional pottery, along with kukeri costumes, woolly…

  • House of Humour and Satire

    Bulgaria

    Why do cats in Gabrovo have no tails? For the rather peculiar answer, you'll have to visit the House of Humour and Satire, a temple to the region's…

  • Enio Bonchev Rose Distillery

    Bulgaria

    Learn the history of Bulgaria's rose-oil trade (and inhale its soothing fragrance) at this 1909-founded distillery, 27km west of Kazanlâk in Tarnichene…

  • Sarafkina Kâshta

    Veliko Târnovo

    Built for a wealthy banker in 1861, this National Revival–style house-museum spans five storeys. Within, 19th-century earrings, bracelets and other…

  • Kulata Ethnological Complex

    Bulgaria

    Just down from Tyulbe Park and the Thracian tomb, you’ll find the appealing Kulata (Tower) district, site of the Kulata Ethnological Complex. A replica of…

  • Bacho Kiro Cave

    Bulgaria

    Carved by an ancient underground river, 1200m-long Bacho Kiro Cave was inhabited way back in the Palaeolithic era. In 1937 it became Bulgaria's first…

  • National Museum of History

    Sofia

    Housed in the former communist presidential palace, this museum occupies a stunning, if inconvenient, setting; unless a coach party turns up, you may have…

  • Ethnographical Museum

    Plovdiv

    Even if you don't have time to step inside, it would be criminal to leave Plovdiv's old town without glancing into the courtyard of this stunning National…

  • Regional Museum of History

    Bulgaria

    This brick museum on the main road exhibits Thracian and Roman artefacts from Madara, Veliki Preslav and Pliska, along with ancient clay-pot burials and a…

  • Hisar Fortress

    Bulgaria

    One of Bulgaria's few remaining Ottoman citadels overlooks Lovech from a steep hill, enveloped by a bend in the Osȃm River. Extensive ruins of mortar and…

  • Basarbovo Rock Monastery

    Bulgaria

    This towering monastery, about 12km south of Ruse near the village of Basarbovo, is the country's only working rock monastery. Established some time…

  • Atanas Krastev House

    Plovdiv

    Close to Nebet Tepe hill, this late 18th-century house was the residence of local painter and conservationist Atanas Krastev until his death in 2003…

  • Zlatnite Mostove

    Sofia

    Zlatnite Mostove is a spray of large boulders – a 'stone river' – that runs down a slope from an altitude of about 1700m down to 1350m. The name, which…

  • Shumen Fortress

    Bulgaria

    Standing proudly over Shumen at a height of 455m, this 3000-year-old fortress dates back to the Iron Age. Thracian, Roman and Byzantine fortifications…

  • Archaeological Museum

    Plovdiv

    This 100,000-item museum is a tour de force of Thracian and Roman artefacts, as well as icons and ecclesiastical artefacts from recent centuries. Most…

  • Tsar Simeon Garden

    Plovdiv

    Plovdiv's prettiest place to stroll, Tsar Simeon Garden was sculpted by Swiss architect Lucien Chevalas in 1892; he's now lovingly referred to as the …

  • Church of Sveti Konstantin & Elena

    Plovdiv

    This is Plovdiv’s oldest church and one of its most beloved. Dedicated to Emperor Constantine the Great and his mother, Helena, it was built on the spot…

  • Ruins of Eumolpias

    Plovdiv

    Some 203m high in the old town, a hill with spectacular views reveals sparse ruins of Eumolpias, a Thracian settlement in 5000 BC. The fortress and…

  • Museum of Roses

    Bulgaria

    Kazanlâk's shiny Museum of Roses opened in 2016 in Park Rozarium, 500m north of pl Sevtopolis. The museum guides visitors through the history of rose-oil…

  • Samovodska Charshiya

    Veliko Târnovo

    During its 19th-century heyday, this lane hosted dozens of vendors from local villages, who carefully laid fruit and vegetables, butter and cheeses onto…

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